College on “The Spectrum”

You’ve probably heard that the Department of Justice, having arrested all the terrorists and drug traffickers, finally turned its mighty eye to the grave national security threat that is college admissions.  Various Hollywood types, including Aunt Becky, joined assorted CEOs and other rich douchebags in bribing their kids’ way into elite colleges.

Mmmmmm….. Aunt Becky.  Yes, I’ll wait.  Has everybody gotten that out of their systems?  Ok, proceeding:

To Normals, the idea of paying a third-party facilitator to bribe your kids into college is so dumb, it makes anti-sense.  Surely rich guys know how college admissions work?  You don’t take “the Hubert J. Buttpimple Memorial Thru-Hole” to get to the library because ol’ Hubert was some kind of outstanding alumnus.  It has his name on it because his kid was dumber than a box of rocks, and the college wouldn’t touch Junior unless Daddy ponied up the cash.  Since “donations to the general scholarship fund” are too obvious even for this age of idiocracy, you “donate” a park bench or something, and everyone pretends to believe that park bench is really worth $1.2 million.

In the same vein, Normals understand that elite colleges collect famous people as zealously, and with as much regard for academic excellence, as they do Diversity Pokemon.  Surely no one believes that a guy like James Franco — the star of Your Highness and the writer of the Tori Spelling classic Mother May I Sleep With Danger? — got into Columbia because of his IQ?  This is the guy, you’ll recall, who — though a rich, famous, and handsome movie star — begs random not-quite-18 year olds for hookups via text message.  It’s well understood by all parties that admitting him is a marketing move.

In other words, we Normals think, if you’re Lori Loughlin and you want your kid to go to Ivy League Tech, you simply call up the Dean of Admissions and do lunch, where over free-range arugula he’ll tell you that the college could really use a few new chairs for the cafeteria…. or that the theater department could really use an Aunt Becky Chair in Applied Aromatherapy, depending on just how bad the kid’s SAT scores really are.  There’s no need to fly in a “test proctor” from Tampa, or photoshop your kid punting a football, or any of the other idiotic shit the “Key Worldwide Foundation” (what, was “Acme Import/Export” taken?) actually did.

Now, part of this is just the ever-accelerating Third-Worldification of the United States.  Every crapsack nation on Earth has its prestige university, where all the children of the elite go.  But since it’s, you know, the Third World, the elite’s kids don’t actually have to go there; they’re set for life no matter what they do.  So the school maintains its elite rep by charging out the wazoo for hustlers to buy their kids places there.  It’s a time-honored system, going all the way back to medieval Europe (and colonial America too, of course).  So long as nobody actually believes the hype — that a kid with a diploma from Ivy League Tech is a certified genius because he’s got a diploma from Ivy League Tech — the system works.

Alas, we believe the hype, because the United States of America is now Autism Spectrum Nation.

No one who matters in modern America has a clue how social interactions work.  The reason Lori can’t simply do lunch with the Dean is because neither of them could figure out how to handle it.  The Dean knows he can’t come right out and say “five hundred large and the kid’s in”… but he also knows that Lori can’t process a subtle hint like “we’d love to help you, Mx. Laughlin, but alas, the last $500,000 in the discretionary fund is earmarked for parking lot resurfacing.”  For her part, Lori can’t straight-up offer the Dean a bribe, because the whole point of pretending to attend Ivy League Tech is pretending an Ivy League Tech degree means something.  And since the Dean’s on the spectrum, too — it’s an inevitable effect of life in academia — she knows she can’t offer to write a check to the parking lot resurfacing fund, wink wink, because the Dean thinks “nonverbal subcommunication” is some class in the English department.  He’ll pocket the check and walk.

This is why almost all the shenanigans are routed through the schools’ athletics programs.  Coaches know how to play ball metaphorically, too — it’s quite likely that they’re the only ones on campus who do.

The rest of America has been living out a kind of sorites paradox since at least the late 1960s.  A sorites paradox happens because language isn’t math, so we end up trying to quantify the unquantifiable.  What is the exact number of grains of sand you need to a make a heap of sand?

I’m deadly serious about this.  It matters, because that’s exactly the type of question that has driven American cultural life for five decades now.  How much “Diversity,” for instance, is “our Strength?”  I’d better goddamn well know, down to the exact number of Vibrants physically present at any given time, or I lose my job and we all get sued into the poorhouse.

But since that’s impossible to know, what happens in practice is the sorities paradoxification of pretty much everything.  Just to stick with a theme, everyone in academia, K-thru-PhD, knows the Prime Directive: Do NOT fail the Blacks.  But because the Blacks fail — a lot — on any objective measure, we can’t have objective measures….

….except we must have objective measures, for how else are we to be sure No Child is Left Behind?  We can’t just hand everyone an A, because how else are the SWPL strivers out in the suburbs going to brag about how much money they spent on little Snowflake’s tutoring and enrichment programs?  But we can’t hand out anything less than an A, either, because there’s a chance someone with the wrong skin tone might get one.  You have to have a completely objective measure that is also utterly meaningless, and that’s why the “works cited” page on your term paper is worth 75% of the grade.

Only what’s in the gradebook is real… but it’s also completely imaginary.  Yet you must believe it, against all evidence of your own lying eyes, because if La’Quavious didn’t earn his A, then how can you know you’ve earned yours?  Apply that shit all the way down the line, to every aspect of life — how else can it end, but in a raging case of Asperger’s?

That’s why the coaches are the point men on this stuff.  They, and they alone, can operate in the desert of the real.  The stopwatch and the scale don’t lie, and they’re allowed to cut anyone who doesn’t hit his benchmarks.  Because they’re grounded — because they’re allowed to notice stuff — they can pick up on the social cues that make this kind of scam go.  Everyone else is still living in Autism Spectrum Nation.

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12 thoughts on “College on “The Spectrum”

  1. MBlanc46

    I don’t really care that the rich can buy Fauntleroy III’s way into Yale. As long as it’s reasonably above board. We don’t have to broadcast it. It can just be something that “everybody knows”. Of course, Geo. W. Bush got into Yale. His father and grandfather were Yale Men, and the Bushes were somebody. And as long as some deserving nobodies get in too, what’s the harm? But hiring a bribery broker or buying an athletic scholarship for a kid in a wheelchair? C’est trop. I don’t know what’s happened to our elites these days. Don’t they realize that they supposed to set a moral example for us proles?

    1. Severian Post author

      That’s just it — now we’re being forced to care. It’s a massive own goal, just like the Harvard admissions thing is. Of course rich twits buy their idiot kids into Yale, just as Harvard of course discriminates against Asians (and in favor of Jews). Same as it ever was. Not to be crude or anything, but it’s the exact same thing as a “happy ending” at a massage parlor. So long as nobody comes out and actually says, on tape, “Let my kid in and I’ll buy a new wing for the library,” it’s all good, just like you’re ok so long as you don’t say, on tape, “I don’t know what a happy ending is, but I’ll pay you for a blowjob!” (I’ve heard).

      It’s a combo of autism and that juju stuff I was going on about a few weeks back. The autism part is not recognizing what “happy ending,” nudge-nudge, wink-wink, really means. Only a sperg would have to straight-up ask “do you mean you’ll perform fellatio on me in exchange for cash?”, but that’s where we are as a nation.

      The juju stuff is the bone-deep stupidity of it going to trial in the first place. Nobody wants that, including the plaintiffs. Discovery’s a bitch, and unless we’re willing to risk the entire TRILLION-DOLLAR student loan industry on the chance that Lori Laughlin is the only rich idiot in the history of American higher ed to try bribing her kid’s way into college…

      Similarly, even the Asians at Harvard don’t want Harvard busted for discrimination, because Harvard’s gonna discriminate, and since they’re the only institution in America that can afford to charge applicants full price and still fill the freshman class, they can tell the Feds to get bent. No one else can. Are we really willing to bet the entire trillion-dollar loan scam on it?

      Only an idiot would let these things get to trial… but then again, only idiots would’ve gotten caught in the first place. It’s just juju stuff.

      1. WOPR

        It was a joke in “Back to School” where Mellon* bought his entrance by building a library. Everyone knew it. How does anyone not understand how any of this works?

        A parallel thing is the sudden cries that Harvard discriminates against Asians (while ignoring that is does the same thing to white Christians). Of course it discriminates against Asians. Harvard and the Ivies are about credentialing the future members of the establishment. How long does Harvard have that role if it is 60% Asian? Between controlling access and maintaining power for the existing establishment types, they cannot allow that. If they did, they would suddenly find their position of picking the future in someone else’s hands. I roll my eye at every Insty article beating the drum over Asian discrimination at Harvard.

        * The interesting thing about “Back to School” is that the antagonist is actually right that Mellon doesn’t belong there. The screenwriters agree because they set it up for Mellon actually pass his classes at the end by seriously cramming. However, the antagonist is the sperg you describe who doesn’t understand the world.

  2. Pickle Rick

    Now transfer this mindset to the Ivy League for officers, West Point and Annapolis, and you’re well on your way to understanding how we haven’t won a war in the strategic sense since 1950, and are going to get utterly defeated in the next real war against a bear or the dragon. Since all the geniuses that went to the Ivies are now permanently ensconced in State, CIA, and every other branch of FedGov and work hand in hand with the geniuses at the Pentagon, cooking up our next foreign policy disaster…

    1. Severian Post author

      There it is. The Ivies are the only schools in America whose spring job fairs have a booth for the State Department. Having spent some time in and around the Ivy League, nothing terrifies me more. You’d think the service academies would have at least some vestigial relationship with objective reality, war being what it is, but America Wins Again (that’s a phrase we’ll be hearing a LOT in the next twenty years, said in that special bone-weary resigned voice that only Old Africa Hands can bring to “Africa Wins Again”).

      1. MBlanc46

        “America wins again”. Yep, it’s about time that we put that one in circulation. Folks who aren’t completely blinkered will get it right off.

      2. Pickle Rick

        It’s going to take a Pearl Harbor, plus a Bataan (including the Death March) to pound it through these idiots thick skulls that expensive toys and Diversity doesn’t win wars.

        My drill instructor on Parris Island told us, as we neared completion of boot, that war is like sex. Unless you’ve done it, you don’t have the first idea of what it’s like. He told us everything he did was to prepare us for that moment when we lost our war virginity, because you don’t get a second chance, and “sorry, I made a mistake” gets someone else killed.

        These morons like Boot, Krystal, Bolton and Pompeo, and their diversity hires in uniform who’ve never smelled a battlefield are going to get a lot of kids killed. And that’s the only thing that will wake up normie America to demand a change.

  3. Frip

    To go back to your post about being a professor. I’d guess your experience was about 10+ years ago. Back when a prof didn’t have prove his Prog cred with overtly Prog lectures. And students didn’t aggressively listen for you to prove it.

    So assuming a relatively neutral student audience, (but yes, even 15 years ago, ready to be triggered by anything even slightly to the Right), how did you not get called out by some radical students? Or, more simply, how did you not have to teach the way the admin expected you to?

    I would have clued-in-to your true self in like 15 minutes. Like you said a few guys did. That’s awesome. So down-low. One could have discovered a cool prof just by him not saying stupid fake things.

    But even further to that…you being Severian, you probably couldn’t help yourself, and tempted fate, by almost being obvious about your Right leanings. I’m rambling. But yeah, I never had a teacher like that. It would have been so cool though. I wonder how those few kids even broached the secret with you. Students blab, so you surely couldn’t have broken bread about something like race. That would have been way too risky.

    I hope you’ll continue to post about it over time.

    Just saying, if I’d had just ONE prof like you, I’d have had inspiration, or a reason to go to classes every day. Just one guy on my side, letting me know I wasn’t crazy.

    As it was, kinda like you, I had to drop out because, among other problems, the psychological toll of the cultmarx lectures just wore me down. GOD to be thick like most students and not even understand what a professor is pulling would have been a blessing.

    If I’d suspected you were one of us I’d have asked to talk with you after class and been like McMurphy with Cheif in Cuckoo’s Nest. Barely being able to control my surprise and joy. “And they all think you’re a Lefty? …What are we doing here professor?”

    1. Severian Post author

      That’s the thing about the Internet, though, isn’t it? It’s ALL performance art. “Severian” is as much a performance as anything I did in the classroom.

      As for the Junior Volunteer Thought Police, “aggressively listening” for faculty to prove their Leftist bona fides: It’s sad — I mean, enough to make you want to slit your wrists sometimes — how few of those knuckleheads there actually are. Most college kids, even today, are like college kids from every era — they just want to sleep in, drink beer, and get laid. But it only takes a few. There weren’t more than a handful of Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917, either, and look how that turned out.

      It sounds weird — considering how much time I spent sleeping, drinking beer, and trying to get laid in college — but that’s not a lifestyle. You might have a brew or twelve at two in the afternoon on a Tuesday because hey, why not?, but not even the hardest-partying frat bro spends his every waking hour thinking about how to get drunk. Even that guy everyone calls “Chugs” has lots of other interests; he can go hours, days even, without even talking about beer, much less drinking one. Trigglypuff, on the other hand, spends every waking hour being Trigglypuff. There’s simply no way normal people can compete.

  4. MBlanc46

    The majority of students probably do what the majority of students have always done: Find out what the right answer is and parrot it back when asked. As the right answer these days is usually a piece of Leftist dogma, the majority of students are vaguely Leftist. They can’t help it. They’re marinated in it. They’re the perfect sea for the true believers and the would-be commissars to swim in. It was that way even in the 1960s when I was in school. Very few were committed radicals, but when it came to having to side with the committed radicals or the administration, their predisposition was to side with the radicals.

  5. neal

    Life is so cheap that whores save up what little they have to brand their children.
    And so on and so forth. Some get to work in space.

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